New York men who own penthouses have a lot of pent-up energy. And they’re ready and raring to release it.
Right now, as the pandemic eases and Wall Street bonuses are through the roof, finance-world princes — flush with cash — are out on the prowl for fleshy fun.
Take last month when a group of rowdy Deutsche Bank employees was axed after expensing the firm more than $1,000 for a night of naughtiness at Sapphire, a Midtown gentlemen’s club. The offense might sound outrageous, but their debauchery is hardly an isolated incident.
“Most people have lost two years of their lives due to COVID,” a nightlife insider told The Post. “They’re looking to make up for lost time. They have more money to spend than they know what to do with. I have a feeling that 2022 is going to be 2006 on steroids.”
The increased appetite for adult shenanigans has helped make Somewhere Nowhere, which opened last July on the 38th floor of the Renaissance Chelsea hotel, a prime nightclub destination for the rich and horny finance crowd.
“Having fun on a hotel property is an asset at a time when people crave being in rooms with beautiful women,” the insider said. “Wall Street guys party upstairs, they meet girls and go right down to one of the hotel rooms. I’ve seen guys bring girls down, do what they do and then come back up solo. They want to keep the night going.”
The scene is hopping at Valbella, in Midtown, which, after 5 p.m. attracts flocks of guys from Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. With people working at home some days and spending others at the office, manager/wine-director Elio Papa told The Post, “Thursday is the new Friday.”
He explains that the finance hotshots tend to favor the elite bourbon Pappy Van Winkle. “We’re only allocated one bottle per year and it goes for $380 per shot,” Papa said. “Luckily we stashed some during Covid. So Covid was good for something.”
With all the wild after-hours antics, it’s no wonder then that the number of would-be Wall Streeters is swelling: a record-setting 236,000 college students applied for internships at Goldman Sachs. The money is good and so is the cash-fueled lifestyle that comes with a career on the Street – or even adjacent to it. The founder of a publicly traded sports betting site is said to have blown some $250,000 on a birthday party at Cathedrale (entertainment reportedly included aerial acrobats with A-Trak and Zack Bia in the DJ booth).
Then there are the gilded nights that, these days, pass as run-of-the-mill.
“I had a private equity guy who was throwing his girlfriend’s 30th birthday party,” Beni Metsch, head of VIP services for The Blond, told The Post. “It didn’t matter if the budget was $5,000 or $20,000. But ultimately, he did 20 people for $15,000. The girl was happy. Everybody was happy. Nobody had to wait outside. They had 1942 [Don Julio tequila] and bottles of Dom Perignon” — brought to the table by cocktail waitresses after Metsch personally settled them in. “They didn’t want anything out of the ordinary.”
Sometimes, though, when young Wall Streeters sit at opposing tables, things get competitive. “We had a champagne war two weeks ago,” Richie Romero, managing-partner of Nebula, told The Post. “One guy sees the parade of cocktail waitresses, bringing bottles to the table, maybe with the ‘Rocky’ theme playing and girls run to the table. The guy single-picks and shoos away whoever he doesn’t want. Egos get bruised and it’s revenge of the broker. Then the other guy wants to outdo him and it goes back and forth. They were both over $30,000 or $40,000 that night.”
Expense accounts are back in play. For some two years, due to pandemic fears, Wall Streeters were not allowed to entertain, and that put a crimp in the lifestyle. “When bankers took me out, I had to pick up tabs,” said a client. “Now the entertainment budgets are back and they are making up for lost time. It’s $12,000 dinners at Hawksmoor with $2,500 bottles of Chateau Margaux.”
Those very same high-rollers are also being courted by the clubs where they blow thousands on a single night. “We brought in our big Wall Street clients who spend a lot of money and gifted them a bottle of Louis XIII cognac,” Sameer Qureshi, co-owner of Somewhere Nowhere told The Post. “It had been aged for 100 years, went for $45,000 and is extremely rare. We paired it with caviar and served it. Representatives from the [liquor] company hand delivered the bottle and it had to be consumed while they were there – but that was not a problem.”